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Europe Between the Wars:. 1919-1939. An Uncertain Peace: The Search for Security. The Failures of Versailles. The creation of new nations through the policy of nationalism had created more problems than it solved.

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the failures of versailles
The Failures of Versailles
  • The creation of new nations through the policy of nationalism had created more problems than it solved.
  • Border disputes between the new nations of Eastern Europe led to increasing tensions in the area.
slide7
The United States refused to ratify the treaty and America’s absence from the League of Nations weakened the organization from the outset.
slide8
The French sought to strengthen the organization through the creation of an international military force, but fears of the loss of sovereignty led to a rejection of the proposal.
slide9
The US and Great Britain refused to honor its agreements to form a mutual defense alliance with France.
  • With Russia in the hands of the Communists, this left France alone and embittered.
french alliances
French Alliances
  • To compensate France built a series of alliances with the newly formed Eastern European nations.
slide11
Poland and the so-called “Little Entente” (Czechoslovakia, Romania and Yugoslavia) were no substitution for the once mighty Russia.
the french policy of coercion 1919 1924
The French Policy of Coercion (1919-1924)
  • France decided to follow a course of strict enforcement of the Treaty of Versailles.
slide13
The Allied Reparations Commission settled on a sum of 132 billion marks (33 billion dollars) to be paid in yearly installments of 2.5 billion marks.
slide15
After making its first payment in 1921, Germany announced it was unable to make any further payments.
slide17
Germany adopted a policy of passive resistance to the French occupation and began printing increasingly worthless paper money.
german inflation
German Inflation
  • Inflation quickly made the German mark worthless.
slide19
In 1914, 4.2 marks equaled a dollar.
  • On Nov. 1, 1923 the ratio was 130 billion marks to the dollar.
slide23

Exchange rates, US Dollar to Mark, 1918-1923Source : Gerald D. Feldman, The Great Disorder, Oxford : UP 1997, p.5

Jan. 1918 Jan. 1919 Jan. 1920 Jan. 1921 Jan. 1922 April 1922 July 1922 Oct. 1922 Jan. 1923 Feb. 1923

5.21 8.20 64.80 64.91 191.81 291.00 493.22 3,180.96 17,972.00 27,918.00

Mar. 1923 Apr. 1923 May 1923 June 1923 July 1923 Aug. 1923 Sep. 1923 Oct. 1923 Nov. 1923 Dec. 1923

21,190.00 24,475.00 47,670.00 109,966.00 353,412.00 4,620,455.00 98,860,000.00 25,260,000,000.00 2,193,600,000,000.00 4,200,000,000,000.00

from the london daily express 1923
From The London Daily Express - 1923
  • “A Berlin couple who were about to celebrate their golden wedding received an official letter advising them that the mayor, in accordance with Prussian custom, would call and present them with a donation of money. Next morning the mayor, accompanied by several aldermen in picturesque robes, arrived at the aged couple's house, and solemnly handed over in the name of the Prussian State, 1,000,000,000,000 marks or one halfpenny.”
revolution in germany
Revolution in Germany
  • The economic crisis led to uprisings by both communists and ultra-nationalists.
slide28

The 1920 Kapp Putsch. "There is terrible misery and hunger in the city," wrote Einstein. "The infant mortality is horrendous...The government has become totally powerless, while the true powers fight each other: the Army, money, and groups of socialist extremists.“

slide30
By 1924, pressure from Britain and the US led the French to seek a more conciliatory tone with Germany.
the hopeful years 1924 1929
The Hopeful Years (1924-1929)
  • Election of Liberal-Socialist governments in France and Great Britain led to a more conciliatory approach to the reparations problem.
slide32
A new German government led by Gustav Stresemann ended the passive resistance and committed Germany to carry out the provisions of the Treaty of Versailles.
the dawes plan
The Dawes Plan
  • An international committee led by American banker Charles Dawes developed a plan to loan money to Germany to allow that country to repay its debts.
the treaty of locarno 1925
The Treaty of Locarno - 1925
  • German foreign minister Gustav Stresemann and French minister Aristide Briand concluded a treaty that formalized the borders between Germany and France.
  • The agreement was hailed as a major step to ending war forever.
the kellogg briand pact
The Kellogg-Briand Pact
  • The “Spirit of Locarno” carried over into a multi-national agreement negotiated by French minister Briand and American Secretary of State Frank B. Kellogg that outlawed war “as an instrument of national policy.”
slide38
The Kellogg-Briand Pact, like the League of Nations, lacked any mechanism to deal with violations of the agreement.
disarmament conferences
Disarmament Conferences
  • A series of Disarmament Conferences were called in the 20s to deal with the issue of arms reduction.
slide40
From 1921 to 1922 the Washington Naval Conference was held to establish stable relationships among the naval forces of the various powers.
slide41
Three treaties were enacted at the conference: the Four-Power Treaty, the Five-Power Treaty, and the Nine-Power Treaty.
the geneva conference
The Geneva Conference
  • In 1925 a convention in Geneva, Switzerland, banned the use of toxic gas in warfare.
  • By the time World War II began in 1939, most of the Great Powers, except Japan and the United States, were signatories.
soviet recognition
Soviet Recognition
  • By 1924, the Soviets had relaxed in their push for global communist revolutions in favor of economic development at home.
slide44
The western nations had also realized that the USSR was not going to disappear and most of Europe had established full diplomatic relations with the Soviets.
the comintern
The Comintern
  • The USSR still funded the propaganda activities of the Communist International, a worldwide organization of pro-Soviet Marxist organizations.
slide46
The issue of encouraging world communist revolutions kept the nations of western Europe fearful and distrustful of the new Soviet Union.
the great depression
The Great Depression
  • After World War I most of the nations of Europe abandoned the wartime government control of their economies and returned to the pre-war liberal ideal of laissez-faire.
causes of the great depression
Causes of the Great Depression
  • War debt and reparations made the economic recovery of 1924-1929 a fragile one.
  • Overproduction of farm products, especially in the United States, led to a dramatic decrease in farm prices.
slide50
Eastern European nations began to close their markets to outside goods by raising tariffs
  • An increase in the use of hydroelectricity and oil led to a slump in the coal market.
slide51
As the stock market boomed in America, many US banks and investors began to pull their money out of Europe to invest in US stocks.
the great crash
The Great Crash
  • On October 29,1929, the New York Stock Exchange, the largest in the world, had its worst day of panic selling.
  • By the end of the year declines in stock values reached $15 billion.
impact on europe
Impact on Europe
  • American investors accelerated their withdrawal of funds from Europe, leading to the weakening of banks in Germany and Central Europe.
credit ansalt
Credit-Ansalt
  • On May 31, 1931, the most prestigious bank in Vienna, the Credit-Ansalt, collapsed bringing about financial panic in Europe.
impact of the depression
Impact of the Depression
  • By the height of the depression in 1932, 25% of British workers were idled and the unemployment rate in Germany hit 40 percent.
slide56
Industrial production decreased 50% in the US and 40% in Germany and throughout the industrial world the unemployed and homeless filled the streets.
social impacts
Social Impacts
  • Women were often able to find low paying domestic work when no jobs were available for men.
slide61
Young men idled by unemployment turned to crime or gangs and were lured by the rhetoric and promise of radical extremists.
political crises
Political Crises
  • The liberal policies of Laissez-Faire were unprepared for the depth of the Great Depression.
  • The deflationary policies of cutting costs and raising tariffs only served to worsen the economic crisis.
slide63
This in turn led to political changes – some countries adopted radical new government programs to deal with the crisis and all over Europe there was an increase in interest in Communism and Authoritarian rule.
democracy between the wars
Democracy Between the Wars
  • After the First World War many European nations instituted democratic government elected by universal suffrage.
slide66
Women gained the right to vote in Great Britain and other states, but would have to wait in Italy, Spain and France until after WWII.
great britain
Great Britain
  • The Liberal government of David Lloyd George was unable to cope with the economic problems after World War I.
slide68
In 1923, the Labour Party became the second largest political party in Britain and Ramsay MacDonald became the first Labour Party Prime Minister.
slide70
After ten months the party was defeated by the Conservatives who attacked the Labour administration for being soft on Communism.
slide71
Like the US, Great Britain will be led by a Conservative pro-business majority through prosperity of 1924-1929.
slide72
Despite the economic prosperity, unemployment remained at 10 percent and labor unions continued to agitate for higher wages and better conditions.
slide73
After the crash of ’29 a short-lived Labour administration was forced to create a coalition of all three parties called the National Government.
national government
National Government
  • This group was able to bring Britain through the worst of the depression with traditional policies of balancing the budget and protective tariffs.
john maynard keynes
John Maynard Keynes
  • Keynes closely examined the problem of prolonged depression in his major work, The General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money (1936).
slide76
This book proposed that no self-correcting mechanism to lift an economy out of a depression existed.
slide77
Since business investment necessarily fluctuated, it could not be depended on to maintain a high level of employment and a steady flow of income through the economy.
slide78
Keynes proposed that government spending must compensate for insufficient business investment in times of recession.
the republic of france
The Republic of France
  • The biggest problem facing the conservative National Bloc government of Raymond Poincare was the reconstruction of the war devastated region of northern France.
slide82
When Poincare’s government was forced to raise taxes to pay for the Ruhr occupation, his National Bloc was voted out of office and replaced with the “Cartel of the Left.”
the cartel of the left
The Cartel of the Left
  • The Cartel was a coalition of leftist parties, the Socialists and the Radicals, that shared the common ideals of anti-clericalism, anti-militarism and the importance of education.
slide85
The opposing ideologies led to their failure and the Conservatives of Poincare were back in power during the relative prosperity of 1926-29.
the depression in france
The Depression in France
  • France did not feel the effects of the depression until 1932 but when it hit it led to complete political chaos.
  • Six different cabinets were formed in a 19 month period.
the february riots 1934
The February Riots – 1934
  • Groups of French Fascists marched through the French cities and the ensuing riots caused the left wing to organize in 1936 into the Popular Front.
the popular front
The Popular Front
  • The first Popular Front government was formed in 1936 as a coalition of Communists, Socialists and Radicals, with Leon Blum as Prime Minister.
leon blum the french new deal
Leon Blum The French New Deal
  • Blum aroused conservative opposition by introducing a program of extensive social reform, including reduction of the workweek to 40 hours, paid vacations, compulsory arbitration of labor disputes, and nationalization of the Bank of France and the munitions industry.
slide90
The ultimate failure of the Popular Front to deal with the problems of the depression weakened the government and left it incapable of dealing with the threat of Nazi Germany.
the totalitarian states
The Totalitarian States
  • Totalitarianism, in political science, a system of government and ideology in which all social, political, economic, intellectual, cultural, and spiritual activities are subordinated to the purposes of the rulers of a state.
slide92
Several important features distinguish totalitarianism, a form of autocracy peculiar to the 20th century, from such older forms as despotism, absolutism, and tyranny.
slide93
In the older forms of autocracy people could live and work in comparative independence, provided they refrained from politics.
nsdap
NSDAP
  • In modern totalitarianism, however, people are made utterly dependent on the wishes and whims of a political party and its leaders.
slide95
The older autocracies were ruled by a monarch or other titled aristocrat who governed by a principle such as divine right, whereas the modern totalitarian state is ruled by a leader, or dictator, who controls a political party.
totalitarian governments
Totalitarian Governments
  • Those countries whose governments are usually characterized as totalitarian were Germany, under the National Socialism of Adolph Hitler; the USSR, particularly under Joseph Stalin; and Italy under Benito Mussolini.
fascist italy
Fascist Italy
  • Benito Mussolini created the Fascist movement in Italy with the creation of the organization he called Fascio di Combattimento or League of Combat.
the birth of fascism
The Birth of Fascism
  • The problems of Italy as a new country were exacerbated by the enormous costs of World War I.
  • The cost of the war is estimated at 700,000 dead and 148 billion lire.
slide101
Italy did gain territory in the north at Trieste and the Sud Tyrol but their demands for Dalmatia and Fiume were rejected.
slide103
In the period immediately following the war inflation was high and unemployment went sky high as men were demobilized from the army.
benito mussolini
Benito Mussolini
  • Mussolini was a well known Socialist and editor of the Socialist newspaper Avanti (Forward).
slide105
When he wrote editorials in favor of Italian involvement in the war he was expelled from the Socialist party.
fascio di combattimento
Fascio di Combattimento
  • In 1919, Mussolini laid the foundations for his Fascist organization but was rejected in the parliamentary elections.
slide108
The Socialists, the biggest party, began to talk of revolution and became associated with Bolshevism.
slide110
Constant labor unrest and class struggle during the early twenties encouraged Mussolini to shift from the left to the right and capitalize on the fear of revolution and violence.
the squadristi
The Squadristi
  • The Fascists formed bands of armed black-shirted street thugs to attack and intimidate the Socialists.
slide112
At the same time Mussolini formed an alliance with the Liberals who hoped to use the Fascists to break the power of the Socialists and then drop them.
slide114
The Fascists deliberately created disorder so they could be seen as the Party of Order when the quelled the unrest.
the march on rome
The March on Rome
  • On October 24, 1922 Mussolini made a speech in Naples declaring that the Fascist would march on Rome and seize power.
slide117
On October 29th King Victor Emmanuel III made Mussolini prime minister of Italy.
  • 24 hours later the Blackshirts marched into Rome to the create the myth of insurrection.
the fascist state
The Fascist State
  • Because the Fascists only controlled a small minority, Mussolini was forced to move slowly and to appease the traditional institutions of the Church, propertied classes and the military.
the acerbo law
The Acerbo Law
  • July 1923, Parliament passed a law that stipulated that whoever won 25% of the votes in the next election would be granted 2/3rds of the seats in Parliament.
the 1924 election
The 1924 Election
  • The Fascists won 65% of the popular vote and a large majority of the seats in Parliament.
slide124
The Squadristi had, of course, used violence and intimidation to win, but the size of the victory indicated the level of popularity of the Fascist movement.
matteotti assassination
Matteotti Assassination
  • In June of 1924, the Socialist leader, Giacomo Matteotti, was murdered by the Blackshirts and Mussolini was implicated in the assassination.
dictatorship
Dictatorship
  • In 1926, laws were passed allowing censorship of any publications against the monarchy, the military or the Catholic Church.
slide130
Police were given the power to arrest and detain without warrant; and all political and cultural organizations were controlled by the Fascist government.
slide131
OVRA
  • A secret police, the OVRA, was established and by the end of 1926, Mussolini was ruling Italy as Il Duce – The Leader.
totalitarianism in italy
Totalitarianism in Italy
  • Fascist propaganda and police control on Italy were never as repressive or effective as they were in Nazi Germany.
slide134
The educational program under Giuseppe Bottai failed to carry out the intended programs to create the “new Fascist man.”
young fascists
Young Fascists
  • A youth organization was created to indoctrinate the Italian youth and ultimately included 60% of the youth of the country.
slide136
But the youth of Italy were never very enthusiastic about the rigid discipline of the organization.
the perfect fascist
The Perfect Fascist
  • The new Italian were expected to physically fit, educated and trained in the military arts.
slide141
Laws were enacted to encourage larger families and women with the most children were granted Gold Medals and cash prizes.
mussolini and the church
Mussolini and the Church
  • The fact that the Fascists never completely controlled the institutions of Italy, forced Mussolini to compromise with the Catholic Church.
the lateran accords
The Lateran Accords
  • February 1929, the Fascists recognized the sovereign independence of the Vatican City, a 109 acre enclave within Rome.
  • The Church in turn recognized the Italian state and was made the “sole religion” of Italy.